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Tainan could face water rationing as soon as May

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Water Resources Agency (WRA, 水利署) announced yesterday that a yellow alert may be issued for the Tainan area as soon as Mar. 20, requiring residents to ration their water usage amid a lack of rainfall.

The WRA stated that following the yellow alert, the first phase of water rationing will be initiated, meaning that pipe pressure throughout the region's potable water supply systems will be decreased in the evening hours.

Meanwhile, the threat of water shortages in the nearby Chiayi area has abated, with the WRA downgrading the current alert status to the less severe blue-green.

Since the conclusion of the Chinese New Year holidays, rainfall throughout southern Taiwan has seen dramatic year-on-year declines, with the annual plum rain season failing to bring expected downpours this year. According to the WRA, as of January, reservoirs throughout Tainan had only accumulated 34 millimeters of rainfall, a paltry 58 percent of the annual average, while reservoirs in Chiayi collected 29 millimeters, 36 percent of the annual average, with water reserves dwindling to about 30 percent.

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